IUI stands for Intrauterine insemination. Inserting a flexible catheter into the womans cervix and injecting washed sperm directly into her uterus is how the IUI is performed. The entire procedure takes only a couple of minutes. The procedure may be uncomfortable if the cervix is difficult to reach because a “tenaculum” will need to be used to hold the cervix in place.
There are two ways to collect the sperm. The first and most usual way is by a sterile specimen cup. The male ejaculates into the cup. The second is by using a collection condom. Most of the time clinics prefer the sample be done right there at the clinic, but there are some who may allow the sample to be collected in the comforts of your home as long as the specimen is delivered to the clinic between 1/2 hr and 1 hr after collection.
6 hours after the woman has ovulated is the best time to do an IUI when male factor infertility is involved.
What is the success rate for an IUI?
If the woman has only one egg follicle the success rate is 6% per cycle. If the woman is on an injectable cycle and has multiple follicles then the success rate jumps to 26% per cycle.
What does it feel like?
It is a fairly painless procedure that is over before you realize it. It feels pretty much like having a pap smear. You really do not feel the catheter being inserted into the cervix since it is opened slightly for ovulation. You may fell some cramping afterward, which may actually be related to ovulation rather than anything related to having just gone through an IUI.
Is it required that I lay down after the procedure?
It is not necessary to lay down after the procedure, because the cervix doesn’t remain open. Your medical staff may allow you to be still in the room for 15 to 30 minutes just to relax after the procedure.
Any precautions that I should take after my IUI?
Most can go about their normal activities after an IUI. However if you feel cramping or are otherwise unwell, take it easy until you feel better. Some people think that it is wise to not do any heavy lifting or aerobics during the phase of the cycle post-ovulation. Use your own best judgment on this.
Is it OK to have intercourse after an IUI?
Most doctors recommend this to be sure that ovulation is covered. However, the exception to this is if a tenaculum was used or if you experienced any bleeding during the procedure or right after.
Can the sperm fall out once I get up and walk around after the procedure?
No, the sperm is now inside your uterus and cannot fall out. Some women may feel wetness when they stand up and walk around, because the catheter can loosen up cervical mucus. If I do a medicated cycle and have the chance for multiple follicles, how many will give me the best chance of pregnancy?
The most current studies show that 3 follicles will increase your chance of pregnancy without unnecessarily increasing your risk of conceiving multiples.
Can we do an IUI at home?
To be safe, an IUI should be done at home. The sperm needs to be washed to prevent infection. If you elect to do intracervical insemination at home, you should do so with a doctor’s instructions. You can also be taught the proper technique if you let a physician know that you desire to do this procedure at home. You may be able to locate a midwife who is willing to assist you with doing this at home.
How much does an IUI cost?
The average cost of an IUI at the doctor’s office is $200 that involves washing and insertion of sperm. If monitoring and medication is involved than the cost jumps to a range of $5,000 to $6,000